Goldmark: We can't wait years for Congress to address problems
In a sharp exchange today (Wednesday, October 18), Eastern Washington congressional candidate Peter Goldmark contended that his opponent is contributing to the "Do-nothing" perception of Congress.
"We can't wait years to act when House pages are at risk," Goldmark said. "We need a Congress that is ready to act immediately."
Goldmark and freshman incumbent Cathy McMorris squared off Wednesday morning during a half-hour exchange on Spokane's KXLY radio program, "Focus on Spokane."
Goldmark has been critical recently of his opponent's failure to denounced House leaders for their inaction in the Mark Foley page scandal. Goldmark has asked her to call for the resignation of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, but so far she has refused.
In the past three weeks, McMorris has taken $10,000 from Hastert and his associates into her campaign coffers.
McMorris noted that a House investigation was initiated after Foley resigned. "But that response was not immediate," Goldmark responded. "House leaders knew the information for years and didn't deal with the problem. Those who knew about the improper behavior did nothing. That lack of action erodes trust in Congress."
Goldmark cited other examples of congressional delays. In late September, a bill to help area growers who have been suffering from disastrous drought was delayed by partisan bickering in Congress. Even though McMorris was a co-sponsor of the bill, she refused to rally support for a vote before Congress recessed. "Growers could have used that funding now," Goldmark said during the exchange. Later he added that after an election, growers know it's almost impossible to get help.
Goldmark has repeatedly accused his opponent of abandoning the needs of farmers in favor of the D.C.-based lobbyist interests.
Veterans have also felt the consequence of congressional delay. Spokane's VA Hospital has cut hours for its urgent care facility, and Walla Walla's VA Hospital is also facing cuts in services and hours. "The time to act for veterans is not after services disappear. We need to anticipate needs to assure that our veterans have continuing access to the services they deserve," Goldmark said.